Nuclear Threat, World War III.. Does Russia’s Verbal Escalation Reflect an Admittance of Failure?

Vladimir Putin in the Cabinet March 10, 2022 – AFP

Since February 24, war broke out between Russia and Ukraine in the field of communications. On the Ukrainian side, President Zelensky did not hesitate to make his transformation from a TV series actor to a warlord, with great recourse to speeches posted on social networks or short phrases, such as the now famous phrase “I need ammunition, not a driver.”

On the Russian side, we also decided to indulge in big public statements. But instead of winning hearts, we aim to shake minds. Only three days after the start of the offensive, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the mobilization of the country’s “deterrence forces”, indirectly hinting at the possible use of nuclear weapons.

“Acknowledgment of weakness on the part of the Kremlin structure”

Two months later, the Kremlin’s warnings, directed mainly at Westerners who had formed a united front against the Russian aggressor, followed each other. The latest, made on Monday by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, hinted at the threat of World War III.

He declared during a long interview with Russian television that “the danger of (World War III) is serious and real. We must not underestimate it.”

Even more worryingly, he considered that NATO was already at war with Russia, through the help it was providing Ukraine: “NATO is, in essence, engaged in war with Russia through a mediator and arming that broker. That means war.”

For Pierre Servent, a specialist in issues of defense and military strategies, invited by France Inter on Wednesday, this new threat in fact illustrates the difficulties faced by the Russian crew.

“I take this as an admission of the weakness of the Kremlin’s structure,” he said.

“When we look at the sequence over 60 days, every time (Vladimir Putin, editor’s note) gets hit hard, Pam, you have a statement about nuclear power, in World War III…,” he continues. – he is.

Moskva humiliation

Anyway, it happened after the destruction of the Russian flagship Moskva in the Black Sea. This boat, which played a key role in this strategic area, was certainly disabled by Ukrainian “Neptune” missiles on April 13, before it sank the next day. Humiliation for Moscow, a major military achievement for Kiev.

876450610001_6304001260001 “The loss of Moskva is a crazy event. A flagship ship. Can you imagine, compared to Putin’s pride?” Judge Pierre Servent.

But there is no way to lose face. A little less than a week later, the Russian military announced the first successful test-fire of a Sarmat ICBM, codenamed “Satan 2”, capable of carrying up to 12 nuclear warheads, with a maximum power of 50 megatons, or 2,000 Hiroshima time. . Launched from Moscow, it could reach London in 6 minutes and be able to jam radars.

“This is truly a unique weapon that will enhance the military capabilities of our armed forces, keep Russia safe from external threats, and make those who are trying to threaten our country with brutal and aggressive rhetoric.” We thought it appropriate to clarify Vladimir Putin.

Ukrainian resistance

A devastating missile, the possibility of a third world war.. Many words suggest a catastrophe on a global scale, while on Earth, no military goal has yet been achieved.

Launching his attack on Ukraine on February 24, Vladimir Putin predicted a blitzkrieg. According to his first statements, the master of the Kremlin, wanting to “discredit” the country, even intended to overthrow the existing power. The Ukrainians, however, resisted, and Volodymyr Zelensky never left the national territory.

The young Ukrainian army even managed to prevent the capture of Kyiv, by holding Russian troops north of the capital. So much so that on March 26, Moscow announced a reorganization of its offensive, focusing only on Donbass, an area partially occupied by pro-Russian separatists since 2014.

“Everyone thinks it is folded. And there, surprisingly, not only Ukraine is resisting, but Russia is revealing huge holes in the racket”, analyzes Pierre Servent. And he continues, “Putin lost 20% of his forces, and I think between 25,000 and 30,000 men, these are more losses than those he lost in Afghanistan, where it lasted 10 years.”

Talks back?

Several elements that made the Pentagon chief, US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, say on Monday that Kyiv “could win the war with the right equipment.”

Maintaining a relative balance of forces on the ground can push Moscow to return in earnest to the negotiating table, because, as Pierre Servent believes, “Putin only understands the balance of power. If he is not suffering from the pain of an enemy power, not in his altruism.”

It remains to be seen whether the Ukrainians will hold out in the Donbass, where the bulk of Russian forces are now concentrated and where many positions fell again on Wednesday.

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